Another Megachanger Question Thread

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris Baucom, Jan 31, 2003.

  1. Chris Baucom

    Chris Baucom Stunt Coordinator

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    I have spent the last hour reading through threads concerning jukebox or mega-changer CD players. I am in the market for a new megachanger and have been trying to read up on what is out there.

    A common thread (ha, ha) in many of the postings is that the Sony ES models are better than non-ES models. When I go to the Sony website, there aren't very many mega-changers listed and none of them are the ES models, just CX. What's the difference between a CX and an ES and have the ES models been discontinued? Does anyone know if the new CDP-CX455 is a replacement, comparable, or any good?
     
  2. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Chris:

    Good post. I have essentially the same question.

    I noticed you're in the Raleigh area. So am I. I've been looking around for a Sony megachanger but can't find one at any of the B&M's around here. Apparently, BB was stocking one last fall, but not now. Haven't checked out AudioAdvice; they carry Sony ES, so maybe it's worth a look.
     
  3. AaronBatiuk

    AaronBatiuk Second Unit

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    I have the 455. I thought that it was the player that I was waiting for, but it has a few quirks:
    1. No video out like the 450 had for on-screen display
      No group file like the 450 had. Both the 450 and 455 have the ability to assign an Artist name to each disc. The 450 in addition could assing each disc to any of 8 groups, accessible from the front panel buttons. The 455 has 8 "top artist" buttons instead. No groups. So you can't have a disc with artist of "Miles Davis" in the "Jazz" group for example. You can create an 'artist' called "Jazz", but then you can't store the real artist name.
      Does not respond to system off command from Sony remotes.
      Changing discs takes longer than the 450. Especially long are discs with CD-Text or MP3 discs.
      No digital output for MP3 playback. Does not turn off the digital output for MP3 playback, so a receiver will not auto-switch to the analog input.
    The MP3 playback works very well, except for the no-digital-output thing. Being able to store the equivalent of 5000 CD's worth of music is phenomenal. (400 CD-ROMs is equal to 280 GB of storage).

    The analog output quality is OK, but I always use the digital output for listening to CD's. This is so that I can use the superior DACs in my receiver, and I can use its EQ and DSPs, etc. without going through and extra ADC-DAC cycle, and so that dts CDs play properly (must use digital connection of course).

    The only benefit of the ES models will be the 5 year ES warranty and better DACs. Since I don't normally use the DACs anyway, I don't care, and the Sony Store threw in an extra warranty for free anyway. There is no equivalent ES model that does MP3 playback. The 555ES model is 'equal' to the older 450.
     
  4. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Oops. Misread the original post. Thought we were talking about the Sony DVD Megachanger.
     
  5. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Chris and Angelo, Aaron covered differences between the 'CX455 and ES models pretty well. The CDP-M333ES and 'M555ES are still available. Both hold 400 CDs, and as Aaron indicated, they do not play MP3-encoded discs. For more information on the ES models, go to www.crutchfield.com . You should be able to get better prices through Oade Bros. (1-229-228-0093 or 1-229-228-4480), OneCall (1-800-340-4770), or J&R Music World (1-800-221-8180), all of which are authorized dealers.

    The 'M333ES and 'M555ES are very similar. The 'M555ES has a video output, which enables you to select discs (with disc titles) from your TV screen. The 'M555ES also comes with the LCD remote that display disc titles for rapid selection.

    If you are going to use the digital output on a megachanger, then you may not benefit from getting an ES model. However, it is true that the ES models come with a five-year warranty in the US (three years in Canada) and gold-plated RCA outputs. So you still might consider an ES model even if you are going to use the digital output.

    I was in your position two years ago, when Sony was only making 300-disc models as the maximum capacity. In the end, I bought two ES units. The better DAC and five-year warranty were important to me. Note that daisy chaining two units requires use of the analog outputs, so you might want to think about the quality of the DAC in making your decision.
     
  6. Chris Baucom

    Chris Baucom Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey, thanks for all the great information.

    Keith, when you say better DAC, what do you mean?
     
  7. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    What he means is this: if your CD player is connected to your receiver/pre-pro via an analog connection, then you will be using the Digital-to-Audio Converter in your CD player. If you connect digitally, via Optical or Coaxial digital input, then you will be using the DAC of the receiver/pre-pro/processor and not the player. This may make a difference in your set-up depending on the relative type and quality of the DACs (in my set-up, I prefer a digital connection and my receiver's DACs; your mileage may vary).

    So, if you are forced to use an analog connection, then you are forced to use the CD player's DACs
     
  8. Chris Baucom

    Chris Baucom Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for that explanation, Angelo.

    Here's a question for anyone who may know: My receiver (Yamaha HTR-5250) doesn't have a specific digital connection for a CD player, only analog. It does, however have digital connections for DVD, D-TV, and cable/satellite. So, if I buy a CD player with digital output, can/should I plug it into one of these other vacant digital inputs on my receiver?
     
  9. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Chris, you can use any of the digital inputs on your receiver for a CD player.
     

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